MIAMI — Norwegian Air, the second airline to take delivery of the 737 MAX (Batik Air Malaysia was first), has begun ramping up 737 MAX operations this week.
Since Saturday, the first two Norwegian 737 MAXs, EI-FYA and EI-FYB, have been operating daily flights across the Atlantic Ocean and one intra-Europe route. The aircraft have been flying the following routes:
- Edinburgh-Windsor Locks
The two 737 MAXs have not yet flown routes between Europe and Providence, Rhode Island (PVD), where Norwegian Air operated six transatlantic routes.
Just this morning, the third and fourth 737 MAX 8s for Norwegian landed in Oslo, Norway on their delivery flights. The two aircraft, EI-FYC, and EI-FYD are the 7th and 8th 737 MAXs to be delivered in total. The two aircraft will likely spend about one-week receiving decals on their tails and receiving other pre-entry into service checks.
Currently, Norwegian is running several older generation 737-800s on their transatlantic flights. While the -800 has ample range to operate these routes (2,935-mile range), strong headwinds during the Winter months could hurt operations and require these aircraft to make fuel stops. With the extended range the 737 MAX has to offer (3,515-mile range), this will become less of a worry. To date, no Norwegian 737-800s operating transatlantic flights have run into this problem.
With only four 737 MAXs in service by next week, Norwegian will still require 1-2 737-800s to operate its transatlantic schedule until more MAXs arrive.
Just hours before the third and fourth Norwegian 737 MAX 8s departed Seattle for their delivery flights yesterday, the fifth 737 MAX for Norwegian conducted its first test flight. The aircraft, EI-FYE, is expected to be delivered next month. The sixth 737 MAX for Norwegian, EI-FYF, has completed final assembly and may conduct its first flight in the coming week also.